Boxing


The Top 10 Dominant Rulers Since 1965

Jim Amato: Greatness, like beauty is really in the eye of the beholder. Since 1965 I've followed the careers of so many wonderful fighters. Over the past couple of decades it has become increasingly more difficult to judge a fighters true worth. With so many titles and weight classes involved sometimes we as fans never really know who is the best fighter in their weight division. At times when a fighter does emerge who looks like he is the cream of his division, he promptly moves up a weight class. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a good example. Manny Pacquaio too..

This piece is on who I feel were the ten best boxers since 1965 to dominate a single weight class. Those who proudly held the title for an extended reign and ruled it with an iron fist. Coming up with the top ten was not an easy task. Believe it or not there were quite a few fighters that had to be considered. There were some greats who just fell short of making the list but in their day they made their mark. Men like Michael Spinks, Aaron Pryor and Eder Jofre. Others like Julio Cesar Chavez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Pernell Whitaker and Miguel Canto were also passed over. It was pretty difficult to keep Sugar Ray Leonard, Tito Trinidad and Shane Mosley off the list. What about Roy Jones Jr., Carlos Zarate, Khaosai Galaxy, Salvador Sanchez and Jose Napoles. There was no room for them either. By now you must have concluded that the ten boxers I picked must be very special. They are, all ten of them. I'm sure many will disagree with me and there will be many a strong argument for other candidates. I do hope you agree with me that my top ten and also the fighters I've mentioned above were pretty special indeed.

NUMBER TEN - JOE CALZAGHE - 168 - Joe actually put some color and pzazz in a division that never had it since its inception. He never received his due recognition because he was based outside of the US but caused quite a stir when Americans saw him dominate Jeff Lacy. Although Joe's recognition was long overdue it was well earned.

NUMBER NINE - MARVIN HAGLER - 160 - The Marvelous One WAS the middleweight division in the 1980's. He turned back all challengers including his demolition of Tommy Hearns. Only his disputed loss to Sugar Ray Leonard kept him from being rated higher.

NUMBER EIGHT - EVANDER HOLYFIELD - 190 - Talk about cleaning out the division. Vander beat his chief rival Dwight Muhammad Qawi to win a portion of the title. Then he made an exclamation point by stopping Qawi in a rematch. Then he he defeated Carlos DeLeon and Rickey Parkey to unify the titles before invading the heavyweight division.

NUMBER SEVEN - VINCENTE SALDIVAR - 126 - This magnificent little southpaw ruled the featherweight division for most of the 1960's. When he ran out of competition he retired. He then came back and promptly regained his lost laurels.

NUMBER SIX - RICARDO LOPEZ - 105 - He very may well be the best little man who ever laced on the gloves. It is too bad that a lot of fans didn't get to see him in action. He was a complete fighter who was...unbeatable.

NUMBER FIVE - WILFREDO GOMEZ - 122 - The junior featherweight division is truly a bastard weight class with only four pounds separating it from bantamweight and featherweight divisions. Nevertheless Gomez was the division's first star and to this day its brightest. He owned that weight class and its challengers.

NUMBER FOUR - CARLOS MONZON - 160 - King Carlos ruled the middleweight division throughout most of the 1970's. He met and turned back some serious opposition in Emile Griffith, Bennie Briscoe, Jose Napoles and Rodrigo Valdez. He was the best middleweight I have seen since I started following the sport.

NUMBER THREE - BOB FOSTER - 175 - Pound for pound he gets my vote as the most devastating puncher I've seen in my time. When someone says that a boxer could " take somebodys head off ", they may have been describing Foster. His power was in a word, scary ! Many of his challengers tasted the power.

NUMBER TWO - ALEXIS ARGUELLO - 130 - He may arguably be the best junior lightweight of all time. He so dominated this division that four men he defeated while champion claimed the crown after he relinquished it. Bobby Chacon, Rafael Limon, Boza Edwards and Rolando Navarette all lost the " Explosive Thin Man. "

NUMBER ONE - ROBERTO DURAN - 135 - To me this was a no brainer. Roberto won the title from an excellent champion in Ken Buchanan. From there he literally ruled the division with an iron fist. His only loss at lightweight was to a tremendous little fighting machine named Esteban De Jesus. Duran would twice halt De Jesus in championship rematches. I truly feel that if Duran had not been around, De Jesus would be in the Hall Of Fame today. Roberto was so dominant that all you had to say was DURAN, and boxing fans knew who you were talking about. Yes, he was that good !

Article posted on 31.07.2008



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